Tag: A Better Red

I84 Offramp Closed for Three Days Next Week

Next week, Interstate 84’s eastbound Exit 7 will close as TriMet crews pour concrete on a new light rail bridge over the Freeway. The Halsey St/NE 99th Ave offramp provides direct access to Gateway Shopping CenterGateway Transit Center, and two medical offices. The November 15th to 17th closure will also prevent quick access to NE Halsey street from I-84. Drivers should take Exit 6 towards Interstate 205 South and use the immediate Glisan Street exit. Then they must take NE Glisan Street east, using NE 99th or 102nd Avenues to drive north to their destination.

Montavilla News illustrations on a Portland Maps image

This midweek construction work supports the A Better Red project currently underway next to I-205. The closures of this I-84 offramp will facilitate the construction of the new MAX light rail track parallel to an existing single-track segment of the Red Line. During the shutdown, crews will continue building a new light-rail bridge over the Freeway, connecting the northern section of Portland’s Gateway Green Park and the Gateway Transit Center. Once completed, the bridge’s tracks will allow simultaneous bidirectional MAX traffic through the Gateway area, helping to alleviate bottlenecks and improve reliability across the MAX system. Crews will also install a new multi-use path to the mountain bike park alongside the new tracks. This added access route will make the recreation area more accessible to a variety of users and increase amenities in the space.

TriMet advises that this work is weather dependent and could be postponed or extended. Check trimet.org/betterred/construction for updates to the schedule or to read more information about the project.

Rendering of the new Red Line bridge crossing I-84. Image courtesy TriMet

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Westbound I-84 Closures in June

Starting June 22nd, TriMet crews will close a segment of westbound Interstate 84 overnight to support work on the A Better Red project underway near the Gateway Transit Center. Each night the roadway will close to vehicles from 10 p.m. and reopen at 4 a.m. The evening work will continue through June 30th, with a full weekend closure from the 24th to the 27th. People driving west on I-84 are advised to take southbound Interstate 205 as an alternate route. Drivers can merge back onto I-84 past the Gateway area.

Rendering of the new Red Line bridge crossing I-84. Image courtesy TriMet

The two-mile closures of I-84 west, near I-205, will facilitate further construction of a new MAX light rail bridge. During the weekend shutdown, crews will drill a 102-foot-deep shaft next to I-84, providing access to a stable anchor point for the bridge’s foundation. The column constructed on the new foundation is a critical support structure for the 500-foot span. Two construction cranes and other heavy equipment are already on-site and positioned to aid workers with their activities planned for the end of the month.

Once completed, the bridge will add another set of tracks to carry MAX Red Line trains through the Gateway area, helping to alleviate bottlenecks and improve reliability across the MAX system. A new multi-use path leading to the Gateway Green Park is planned for the bridge, alongside the new tracks. This added access route will make the park more accessible to a variety of users and increase amenities in the space.

Multi-use path leading to the Gateway Green Park. Image courtesy TriMet

People interested in knowing more about TriMet’s A Better Red project can attend the June 13th Montavilla Neighborhood Association meeting at 6:30 p.m. At that event, Trimet’s Community Affairs Coordinator, Libby Winter, will present information regarding the light rail project and related construction closures. Additionally, people can subscribe to email updates regarding the project at trimet.org/betterred.

TriMet encourages motorists to plan an alternate route in advance of the work and expect traffic to be heavier than usual during the closures. Transit staff do not anticipate bus and MAX service disruption during this work. As the dates get closer, users of this section of westbound I-84 should check the TriMet project website for updates and changes.

Weekday overnight closures

  • 10 p.m. Wednesday June, 22 to 4 a.m. Thursday, June 23.
  • 10 p.m. Thursday June, 23 to 4 a.m. Friday June, 24.
  • 10 p.m. Monday June 27 to 4 a.m. Tuesday June 28.
  • 10 p.m. Tuesday June 28 to 4 a.m. Wednesday June 29.
  • 10 p.m. Wednesday to 4 a.m. Thursday June 30.

Weekend closures

  • 10 p.m. Friday, June 24 to 4 a.m. Monday, June 27

Disclosure: The author of this article serves on the Montavilla Neighborhood Association Board.

I-84 East Exit 7 Closure

Starting May 8th, the Oregon Department of Transportation will close the Interstate 84 East Halsey/99th Ave off-ramp. This temporary closure allows TriMet construction crews the needed workspace to install support piers for a new MAX bridge over the freeway. Project managers expect to reopen Exit 7 to eastbound I-84 drivers on June 24th, 2022.

Work performed over the next two months will create the support structure for a new MAX Red Line bridge over I-84, located just east of Interstate 205. The bridge will provide pedestrian and bike access to the Gateway Green park and add a second track to the single-track rail system in the area. This project is part of the TriMet Better Red initiative to extend the MAX Red Line westward to serve ten more stations. Additionally, crews will install bidirectional rails in places with share tracks, speeding up the whole system.

TriMet suggests a detour onto Exit 6 towards I-205 South during the off-ramp closure and then use the Glisan Street/Stark Street exit. Drivers will follow NE Glisan east to NE 99th Avenue. Plan accordingly for this closure by using the ODOT TripCheck.com website for route information and updates. Better Red crews will continue their work in the area until its completion in 2024.

Better Red work is Reshaping Upper Gateway Green

Update – Starting this week, pedestrians and bicyclists have a new detour when traveling on the I205 Multi-use Path. Construction crews erected a chainlink fence and laid new asphalt, creating a short loop around the active construction zone. Development plans for the path include a slight pavement diversion around support structures holding up the new overhead TriMet Red Line track. This temporary “C” shaped I205 Multi-use Path turnout should remain in place while the Redline Bridge construction is underway. Use caution in the Gateway Green area as this pathway shares space with construction vehicles and workers.

Original article published February 22nd, 2022

In September 2021, TriMet contractors closed the south end of the Gateway Green bike park as part of a light-rail expansion project. The work connects a second track leading from the airport to the Gateway Transit Center for MAX Red Line service. This project will also add a new entry point for the park with several updated amenities. The closure will continue through construction, ending in late 2024.

Rendering curtesy of TriMet and subject to change

Dubbed A Better Red, the project extends the MAX Red Line west to serve ten more stations and adds an extra track to single-track portions of the rail network, allowing for simultaneous bidirectional travel. The rail line expansion at the Portland International Airport can occur directly adjacent to the existing track. However, the land near the Gateway Transit Center is more constrained.

Due to the current track’s proximity to I205, TriMet needed a new path for the second track. The solution chosen by planners sends southbound light-rail cars over the northbound tracks and through the Gateway Green Park. Consequentially, TriMet needs to construct two overpasses. One will take the Red Line above the northbound tracks and the I205 Multi-use bike and pedestrian path. Then another overpass bridge will cross I84, leading into the Transit Center.

Rendering curtesy of TriMet and subject to change

The current I205 Multi-use trail will need to reroute slightly between bridge supports as it travels underneath the new Red Line tracks. That bridge work is underway with an expected path closure during overhead bridge installation work.

Rendering curtesy of TriMet and subject to change

Although the work inside the park is extensive, only two trails and the south entrance to the park are off-limits to visitors. Currently, construction material and equipment block the upper sections of Linda’s Line trail and Rebar Ridge trail. However, crews will extend both courses into a new high-point trailhead when the project completes. Parkgoers will access that amenity from a paved south entry plaza. Thanks to a pathway created alongside the Red Line’s I84 crossing, the south entry to Gateway Green will become the predominant entry point to the park.

When complete, Gateway Green will be more accessible to all types of users while enhancing the MAX service to the airport. The majority of the park will remain open during construction. Visitors should anticipate seeing construction-related activities around the property with the occasional detour along the I205 Multi-use Path.

New Max Platform at Gateway Station

Last week, planners submitted Design Review request 21-022957 for upgrades at Gateway Transit Center. TriMet will construct a new station platform for the Max Red Line as part of the A Better Red project. The new platform will serve trains traveling from the Portland International Airport towards Portland’s City Center.

Aside from faster travel times for Red Line passengers, this project will bring improvements to the area. The new Max track over the Freeway will include a pedestrian and bicycle bridge to the Gateway Green park. The new platform will be two blocks away from the other stops at the station, requiring a connecting sidewalk along the back edge to the Park and Ride property. With improved lighting, increased activity, and fencing, the security at that parking lot could improve.

Pedestrian and bicycle bridge to the Gateway Green

Construction will begin this year and run through 2023. This transit project should be an exciting upgrade to local infrastructure with improved access to an isolated bike park. A more detailed timeline will take shape later this year as construction permits are submitted.

Looking from current Max platforms towards new Red Line stop

Renderings courtesy of TriMet